There are currently two types of contract for NHS dentists, the General Dental Services (GDS) contract and the Personal Dental Services (PDS) agreement.
A GDS contract gives dentists the flexibility of taking on a partner – which can be helpful at retirement – but sometimes have lower Units of Dental Activity (UDA) values.
One of the key differences between GDS contracts and PDS agreements is that only a GDS contract is saleable when you are looking to sell your NHS practice. Therefore, if you hold a PDS agreement it will need to be transferred to a GDS contract in the first instance by applying to the NHS.
Under a PDS agreement you may attract a higher UDA value. However, under a PDS agreement you are not able to take on a partner. Again, as with looking to sell your practice, the only way to take on a partner if you have a PDS agreement is to apply to the NHS to convert this to a GDS contract.
In relation to a GDS contract, how would you go about ensuring the transfer of the contract to the buyer if you were looking to sell the practice?
The contract and the NHS guidelines do not allow for the transfer of a GDS contract. However, what is allowed is taking on a partner and dentists retiring from a partnership. Therefore, the way to go about it is that the existing dentist(s) holding the GDS contract enter into partnership with the incoming dentist(s)/buyer. Once completion has taken place, the existing dentist(s)/outgoing dentist(s)/seller(s) retire from the partnership. This all needs to be done having formally notified the NHS of the partnership and, in due course, the retirement of certain dentists from the partnership.
How we can help
At Else Solicitors, our expert dental law team has all the up-to-date and in-depth knowledge of the legislative framework of general dental practice and changes that may be in the pipeline. Our specialist knowledge of all contractual issues is central to all the legal services we provide.
To speak to a solicitor who specialises in GDS and PDS agreements, please contact the dental law team on 01283 526200, alternatively you can send us a message and we will get in touch at a time that suits you.